Gruta de Ubajara


Useful Information

Location: Ubajara.
Ceará, 320 km from Fortaleza.
(-3.833377, -40.900224)
Open: Park: All year Tue-Sun 8-17.
Cable Car: closed for renovation.
Cave tours: All year Tue-Sun 9-15.
[2022]
Fee: Park: free.
Cable Car: closed for renovation.
Cave tours: .
[2022]
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave
Light: LightLED Lighting
Dimension: L=1,120 m, VR=75 m.
Guided tours: L=450 m, VR=35 m, Max=8, Max=300/day. V=47,000/a[2000]
Photography:  
Accessibility:  
Bibliography:  
Address: Gruta de Ubajara, Ubajara National Park, Rod da Confiança, 187, Ubajara / CE - CEP: 62.350-000, Tel: +55-88-3634-1388.
Municipal Tourism Office, R. 31 de Dezembro, 79 - Centro - Ubajara, Tel: +55-88-3634-2365.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.

History

early 18th century cave discovered by Portuguese colonists in search of silver ore.
1992 cable car renovated, elecrtric light installed.
2021 new LED light installed.

Description

Ubajara National Park is the smallest of the 35 Brazilian National Parks, only 563 hectares big. And the most famous feature of the park is the Gruta de Ubajara, which is located in the hillside of the Ibiapaba mountains. The cave is reached by a cable car, the Teleférico do Parque Nacional de Ubajara. It is considered one of the most beautiful caves in Brazil.

The park is accessed from the plateau, where the city of Ubajara is sourounded by a fertile plain with fields. At the eastern outskirts is an escarpment, which descends from the plateau at around 850 m asl to the plain inf ront, which is aboz 150 m asl. The park covers a section of this escarpment and thus offers spectacular cliff faces and waterfalls. The cave Gruta de Ubajara is located almost at the foot of the escarpment. As it is 535 m deeper than the parking lot, it is necessary to take a teleferico (cable car) or walk on foot along the 4 km long Cafundós trail. The cable car is more comfortable, travels 550 m in 3 minutes, and provides a privileged view of the landscape. The trail on the other hand shows the fauna and flora of the park, just avoid the poisonous snakes or scorpions by staying on the trail.

This is definitely a show cave Brazilian style, with dirt tracks with potholes, and low ceilings which require stooping. On the other hand the cave has electric light and is guided. There are just a few spots where they thought it would be a good idea to use red lights. However, lately the light system was replaced by LED [2021]. The renovation was financed by the ICMBio and the Secretary of Tourism of the State of Ceará. The modernization of the famous Cable Car, the park's main attraction, is still ongoing, but will be completed soon [2022].

According to legend a tribe chief, who came from the coast in a canoe, lived in the cave for many years. So he was named Ubajara, which means Lord of the Canoe. However, the translation of the term is not undisputed, and others say it means Lord of the arrows. Some locals believe that the cave is a result of excavations in search of silver.

The park has numerous other interesting caves which are closed to the public. The Gruta do Urso Fóssil (Bear Fossil Cave) is of great paleontological importance. Then there are the Gruta do Morcego Branco, Gruta de Cima, and Gruta do Pendurado.